Am I really supposed to take away a kid’s cell phone from them? I mean official school policy says NO CELL PHONES.
Yet virtually very kid on campus has one. And they make no bones about the fact that their phones are more than just phones — their phones are central conduits to how they live their lives.
To take away their cell phone makes me an instant jerk. And who is going to allow themselves to actually listen to and learn from a total jerk?
On the other hand, school’s cannot function without rules. Simply put, it’d be anarchy. Chaos. Pandemonium!(Not so unlike how it is now anyway, right?)
But rules are essential. A classroom without procedures, guidelines, and matters of protocol is a classroom that is going to implode.
So, does this mean school rules are optional, that I get to follow the ones that make sense to me and disregard teh ones that do not?
Well, if you ask my principal, my district superintendent or anyone at the state department of education, most certainly not.
But if you ask a teacher down the hall, a frontline soldier who has to actually work where the rubber meets the road, you are going to get an entirely different answer.
And you know what? Both sides are 100% right! That’s what so maddening about public education today. School boards and administration need to set policy and that policy needs to be followed in order for campuses to function. Otherwise, it’s a disaster.
But teachers who blindly follow non-sensible policies do so to the detriment of their kids… and that’s an even worse disaster.
So, do I confiscate the phone? If I do, I lose the kid. If I don’t, I am yet another rebel teacher who doesn’t buy into sending the kids one straightforward, unmixed message about matters of behavior on campus. I am the guy who clearly puts it out there that school rules are optional, subjective, dependent on individual circumstances and not really rules, but more like guidelines, take them or leave them.
Kids wear hats. It’s a violation of school policy. I never take a kid’s hat. Why? Because I care more about what’s going on underneath the hat.
Kid’s have face piercings. Like I really want to extract a nosering from a teenager’s nostril in the middle of 3rd period.
Kids bring drugs to school. I bust them with these — and I bust them… and good.
Spray paint cans, too.
But girls who wear shorts that are not quite to fingertips length down their sides? Whatever, I have other battles to wage.
And so I wonder, without any sort of real answer to this question, are school rules subjective and open to teacher interpretation?